Clinical, ultrasound, and videodermatoscopy monitoring of psoriatic patients following biological treatment

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Abstract

Background and purpose:

Effective non-invasive techniques to monitor plaque psoriasis progression and treatment are desirable. The aim of the study was to evaluate changes in vascular pattern using videodermatoscopy (VD) and in skin thickness by ultrasound (US), along with clinical observation, during treatment with biologicals.

Methods:

Forty-two patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis treated with adalimumab, etanercept, or ustekinumab were evaluated. Following the identification of a ‘target’ plaque at baseline, lesion changes were monitored at 15, 30 and 60 days by clinical observation using a Target Lesion Score (TLS), and by VD and US.

Results:

After 60 days, a significant improvement in all three parameters was observed. In adalimumab-treated patients mean values of TLS, VD, and US were reduced by 83.9%, 73.5%, and 90%, respectively; in etanercept-treated patients by 67.9%, 49.7%, and 79.3%; in ustekinumab-treated patients by 80.9%, 66.4%, and 80.1%. Skin thickness was the first parameter to improve. Vascular improvement was slower compared to clinical and US responses.

Conclusion:

VD and US may be useful to monitor psoriasis treatment. Further investigations are warranted to assess if the persistence of an altered vascular pattern despite clinical and US normalization, as observed in 22% of patients, may influence disease progression and/or correlate with rate and severity degree of relapse.

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